It is pretty widely agreed that the SEC has been the best college football conference in recent years and for good reason. The BCS champions have come from there the past five seasons in a row, and the winner of LSU-Alabama will make it six. Even the trio of Oklahoma, Texas, and Oklahoma State is not that top-heavy.
But I think a pretty compelling case can be made that this year, the conference with the most depth was the Big 12. When your fourth best team is a ten-win team with a Heisman winner at quarterback, it's a good year for the conference. It was also a season in with the eighth-place finisher beat the conference winner. Seven of the conferences ten teams will finish with a winning record, and eight of them earned a bowl game invitation.
And Big 12 teams have been demonstrating their strength in those bowl games, winning five of the six games they have played so far. Missouri, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M have all garnered victories over teams from the ACC, The Pac-12, and the Big Ten. The lone Big 12 loss was by Iowa State against the Big East's Rutgers.
It should also be noted that the SEC has had their own success. With an impressive five games remaining, the SEC sits at 2-1 in bowl games this season.
It's not lost on me that the toughest bowl season tests lie ahead for the Big 12. Tonight, conference winner Oklahoma State takes on an Andrew Luck-led Stanford team, while on Friday, Kansas State takes on the SEC's Arkansas.
Oklahoma State and Kansas State will have plenty to play for in these match-ups, but one of the prizes at stake is conference bragging rights.